Wednesday, June 24, 2015
breakfast at the reichstag roof in berlin
On top of the German Reichstag (parliament building) in Berlin there's a cupola - which is a symbol for democracy, transparency and also an environmental project that is a great way to lessen the building's carbon footprint.
And beside that cupola on the roof is a restaurant opened for breakfast (lunch and dinner). If you book your breakfast you don't have to stand in line with the tourists and groups that want to visit the cupola. Still have to go through the same security check as at an airport though, but if your there early its a swift process.
So we had breakfast there at 9 am. And it was admittedly frightfully early for me to get up. And it turned out to be surprisingly difficult to find a nearby parking spot, because there were so many inclosures for unknown reason.
In the end we had to park quite far away, having to walk back in the rain and cold winds. Up on the roof the view over Berlin was spectacular. And being there so early in the morning meant there were much less people around of course. It was a nice experience, but way too early for some. If not others.
The restaurant itself was really nice, open and light - although honestly the toilets smelled quite a bit, they should do something about the plumbing... - and with grand views. Too bad it was such a rainy, cold day otherwise the glass walls would have been open to the terrace.
And what about the breakfast? Well, we accidently ordered three of them for two persons so we didn't exactly leave hungry or with completely empty plates. But tastewise, nothing exciting or supertasty, just nice and forgettable. There are so many better places in Berlin to have breakfast. But the food AND the panoramic view, that's a different story.
The Reichstag is a beautiful, old building (first idea in 1871, but the buidling didn't begin until 1884 and was finished in 1894) and the cupola is a fine, young part of it (built 1995-99). It's a building with a fascinating story, a factual and practical symbol of so much that has affected the rest of the world.
I think it's a nice thing that the place is opened to the public and the symbolism of the dome, the transparency of democracy and that, in the right light, you can look down at the speaker's chamber below where politicans work.
It was an overall good experience, I wish I hadn't been so tired though, But as it happened, by the end of the week I got a nasty cold - which I haven't had for 1,5 year now - so I guess it was all way for my body to show exhaustion.
Also on our way from the visit suddenly there were a gazillion police cars out and about, new inclosures, the traffic lights not working. Suddenly we were abruptly stopped by police, cars, cyclist and pedestrians alike. Far away in the road I noticed lots of bluelights and even more police cars. Clearly there were some sort of police escort. People started cheering and we had no idea who was coming. So I snapped away and when they passed us close by and waved right at us in the car I realised it was queen Elizabeth and prince Philip visiting.
Needless to say really, despite this unexpected Berlin experience, which granted was a bit fun, I'm still very much a republican. In the European sense of the word of course.